Deported Albanian who re-entered UK illegally jailed over drugs offences

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Bujar Cozminca was deported but entered the UK again illegally (Image: NCA)

A prominent member of an Albanian organised crime group has been jailed for a second time for Class A drugs offences.

In 2012, Bujar Cozminca, 33, was convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and sentenced to 21 months in jail. He was deported back to Albania, but subsequently re-entered the UK illegally to reoffend.

Cozmina purchased and supplied 100 kilograms of cocaine, with a wholesale value of £3.5m and a street value of around £8m, in addition to laundering £2.5m of criminal cash.

When he was arrested in May 2021, £300,000 in cash was found at two properties he used for drugs deals in Islington and Wembley.

Officers from the Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) – comprising National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police officers – also discovered ledgers indicating drug deals amounting to almost £2 million.

Cozminca admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and money laundering and on Friday (28 June 2024), he was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court to 12 years in prison. Cozminca, of High Road, Wembley, was already known to UK law enforcement.

In 2012, he was convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and sentenced to 21 months in jail. He was deported back to Albania, but subsequently re-entered the UK illegally.

He was arrested by OCP officers using evidence from Operation Venetic – the NCA-led response to the 2020 takedown of encrypted communications platform EncroChat.

Using the handle ‘Insatiable beta’, Cozminca trafficked multi-kilo deals of cocaine across the UK and laundered hundreds of thousands of pounds of criminal cash on a weekly basis.

OCP officers built the case against him by wading through 6,000 EncroChat messages.

His organised crime group had far-reaching international connections and Cozminca was able to operate throughout the nation’s Covid-19 lockdown and beyond.

OCP officers are continuing to investigate other members of the same OCG.

Andrew Tickner, OCP senior investigating officer, said:

“Cozminca is an established member of an Albanian organised crime group who believed he could operate with impunity.

“Thanks to concerted effort and skilful work by officers from the NCA and the Metropolitan Police Service, crucial evidence obtained from his EncroChat handle made clear the extent of his criminality, leaving him no choice but to plead guilty.

“We are determined to pursue individuals like Cozminca who think they are above the law, and we will continue to work with our partners to bring them to justice.”

Source: NCA

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